Receivership is not a sign of the times
Golf administrator Gavin Kirkman, who has spent the past 25 years working closely with clubs on the Gold Coast, has spread calming hands over recent doom and gloom rumours concerning the industry on the tourist strip.
Well-known Golf Coast resort courses Robina Woods and The Colonial were forced in to receivership last month and fears subsequently surfaced regarding the future of other iconic golf properties.
Gavin Kirkman: Receivership is not a sign of the times
But Kirkman, who has recently been appointed General Manager of Member Services for the PGA, said golf on the Gold Coast was suffering no more than any other similar industry linked to tourism.
“From November, the Gold Coast – and most of south-east Queensland for that matter – has been hammered by unprecedented wet weather,” he said.
“All the golf properties, and not just Robina and The Colonial, have suffered. Playing numbers are down and as a result so are takings. But this relates precisely to the performance of tourism.
“I would suggest that from November to April, courses on the Gold Coast have been hit harder than ever before.”
While not upbeat about the immediate future and certainly not deflecting the receivership news as unimportant, Mr Kirkman – who until recently was GM of Golf Leisure at Royal Pines – had no doubts Robina and The Colonial would continue to trade as golf resort courses.
“They are wonderful properties and high-quality courses, and I would be extremely surprised if someone did not invest in them as going concerns,” he said.
“The Gold Coast is generally regarded as a mecca for challenging resort courses, and while all have suffered from the big wet and the resultant downturn in numbers, to my knowledge most are still trading reasonably well.
“In my time at Royal Pines I met regularly with management of the other resort courses and there was certainly no feeling of doom and gloom.”
“In fact, I believe both Robina and The Colonial were conducting good business, so maybe other factors relating to the operation of the business may have contributed to the financial issues which forced them in to receivership.”